BC Presents Coveted Alumni Awards
Bluefield College honored four of its most distinguished graduates and one of its most prolific athletes during an Alumni Awards and Sports Hall of Fame Dinner, Saturday, September 27, as part of Homecoming 2014.
October 15, 2014
Dr. Garry Jones, a 2014 inductee into Bluefield College's Hall of Distinguished Graduates.
Alumni Association President Jennifer Mitchell (left) and President David Olive (right) present the 2014 Alumna of the Year award to Liz Povar, the first non-traditional graduate to earn the distinction.
Brandy Smith (center), a BC Teacher Education graduate and winner of the 2014 Distinguished Young Alumna award.
Rev. Latta Terry (center), recognized for his 40 years of dedication to pastoral ministry and international missions with BC's 2014 Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award.
Dr. Randy Belt (center), the most decorated tennis player in Bluefield College history and a 2014 inductee into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Bluefield College 2014 Alumni Award recipients (from left) Dr. Randy Belt, Brandy Smith, Liz Povar, and Rev. Latta Terry. Not pictured: Dr. Garry Jones.
Among the graduates honored: Dr. Garry Jones (’74), who was inducted into the BC Hall of Distinguished Graduates; Liz Povar (’01), who was named Alumna of the Year; Brandy Smith (’01), who was honored as Young Alumna of the Year; Latta Terry (’62), recipient of the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award; and Dr. Randall Belt (’94), who was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Considered the college’s highest honor for alumni, the Hall of Distinguished Graduates is reserved for former students who have achieved “outstanding accomplishments in their profession or career” and who have displayed “significant leadership in their community” and to the BC Alumni Association. As a 2014 inductee into the Hall of Distinguished Graduates, Dr. Jones entered a four-week audio workshop with a recording studio after college, and in 1979 joined the supervisor of that recording studio, Jon Phelps, in opening a recording school. That recording school was the genesis for what is today Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, where Dr. Jones now serves as president.
What began as a school for music and sound 30 years ago is now the world’s educational leader in entertainment, media, and the arts. Students at Full Sail study film, design, show production, games, animation, web design, and the business of the entertainment world. In fact, Full Sail offers 48 degree programs and has graduated more than 45,000 students.
In addition, Full Sail has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Graduate Schools for Game Design by The Princeton Review, one of the Best Music Programs by Rolling Stone magazine, and one of the Best Film Programs by UNleashed magazine. Under Dr. Jones’ leadership, Full Sail was named College of the Year by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, and Dr. Jones was named IT Leader of the Year by ITFlorida for his commitment to furthering the advancement of technology through education.
“My time at Bluefield College was such a formative and wonderful time in my life,” said Dr. Jones. “It paved the way for so much more. Bluefield provided not just a great spiritual home for me, but it also prepared me with academics for a future that, at the time, was unimaginable. The most important part of Bluefield for me was the culture -- the people I shared the classrooms with, the care andnurturing of the faculty and staff, and the lessons in life that I learned so much about.”
Today, in addition to serving as president of Full Sail, Dr. Jones is a trustee for The Nature Conservancy Florida Chapter, a member of the President’s Advisory Council for Rollins College, and a member of the Advisory Council for his alma mater, Bluefield College.
“Bluefield College on that little hill in Virginia will always be such a deep, intrinsic part of my heart andlife,” said Dr. Jones. “I am truly honored to be inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Graduates.”
The Alumna of the Year Award is designed to recognize alumni who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their profession, displayed significant leadership in the community, and represented well the values and mission of Bluefield College. As the 2014 Alumna of the Year, Povar, a graduate of BC’s adult degree completion program, is director of business development and vice president for business expansion for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership in Richmond, Virginia, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995.
In this dual role, Povar is responsible for marketing Virginia to target business sectors and working with local, state and private partners to expand business in the Commonwealth. During her tenure, she has played a key role in the creation of more than 900 projects with better than $13 billion in capital investment and 90,000 new jobs created.
In addition, Povar is a member of the Advisory Board for the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, a member of the Commonwealth’s Career Pathways Task Force, past president of the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), and a certified economic developer for the International Economic Development Council. She also is the recipient of the Cardinal Award designation from VEDA.
“Each of us in this room has been touched by Bluefield College,” said Povar, the first ever non-traditional graduate to receive the school’s Alumna of the Year award, “and when Bluefield College touches someone, it challenges you to live the life God wants you to live. I am truly grateful for this award and for the opportunity to represent my fellow alumni.”
Designed for young alumni who at 40 years of age or less have already achieved great success in their profession, business or community, the Distinguished Young Alumna Award recognizes leadership and service and significant contributions to the BC Alumni Association. As the 2014 recipient,
Smith, a graduate of BC’s Teacher Education Program, followed her bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree in education from the prestigious Counselor Education Program at Virginia Tech. While at Virginia Tech, she served as president of the Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society, president of the Bland (VA) County Education Association, a member of BC’s Student Teacher Advisory Board, and co-chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Virginia Counselors Association, a position shestill serves in today.
An American Counseling Association Ross Trust Service Award recipient, Smith’s work has been included in multiple publications and her community service has included work with Habitat for Humanity, New River Community Disaster Response Coalition, the recovery efforts following the 2007 campus shooting at Virginia Tech, New River Valley Community Service, and Elijah’s Backpack. She also provides pro-bono counseling services for students in the Counselor Education Program at Virginia Tech.
Today, Smith is a private practice child and family therapist. She is co-owner of Connected Child Consulting in Blue Ridge, Virginia, and president elect of the Virginia Alliance for School Counselors.
“Bluefield College is a matter of the heart for me,” said Smith. “Bluefield had very high academic expectations, but a very nurturing environment. I am so glad God led me here. It has become part of my identity, and I will always be grateful for that.”
Established in 2004, the Primitivo Delgado Christian Service Award is designed to recognize former students, faculty or staff who exhibit continual service and compassion in ministry. Named in honor of former BC academic dean Primitivo Delgado, who lived a life committed to Christian service and ministry, the Delgado Award receives more nominations than any other BC Homecoming award.
As the 2014 recipient, Rev. Terry has dedicated 44 years of service to Virginia Baptists, all as the pastor of Monte Vista Baptist Church in Hurt, Virginia. During his four decades in the pulpit, he also has served as president of the Altavista Ministerial Association, moderator of the Staunton River Baptist Association, a two-term member of the Missionary Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), relay center coordinator for Samaritan Purse, and a 10-year president of DAWN (a local emergency relief organization), where he continues to serve.
Rev. Terry’s international missions work has taken him to Mexico, Russia and Nigeria, where he has worked to establish a library for pastors, financed the drilling of a well, and dedicated his time to literacy work.
“I owe more to Bluefield College than words can express,” said Rev. Terry. “I am the Christian man that I am today because of the impact that Bluefield College made on me the two yearsthat I was a student on that campus where Christ is pre-imminent. To say theleast, BC was my alma mater, my fostering mother, molding me, motivating me, and inspiring me to be and do my best.”
Reserved for the most notable student-athletes who have made exceptional contributions to Athletics at Bluefield College, the Sports Hall of Fame is the highest honor for a BC athlete. The 2014 inductee, Dr. Belt, was a four-year member of BC’s varsity tennis team. In fact, he remains the most decorated tennis player in Bluefield College history. During his career as a Ram, Belt played as the number one singles player for four years, garnering a 61-13 win-loss record in singlesaction. He was an All-Conference selection three consecutive years and was the Tennessee Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1994.
After his playing days, Dr. Belt coached the Bluefield (WV) High School boys’ tennis team from 1997 to 2004. He finished with a record 131-14, won four state championships, and was named the West Virginia Tennis Coach of the Year in 2001. For the past four years, he has served as an assistant coach for tennis at Milligan College, helping guide the men’s team to its first ever conference championship in 2013 and the women’s team to three conference championships and a National Tournament appearance in 2014.
A success in the classroom, as well, Dr. Belt earned a medical degree after BC from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and for the past 14 years has served as an emergency medicine physician in Johnson City, Tennessee.
“My plans were to attend Bluefield College one semester, maybe one year, and then transfer,” said Dr. Belt, “but I fell in love with the place. I made great friends and learned a lot from some great professors, so I decided to stay, and here I am today.”